Generator Buying Tips

What Size Generator do You Need?

  1. What do you need to run during a power outage? By reducing your list of items you can save money.
  2. Some appliances require twice as much power to start up than when they run, and hence a larger generator is required. i.e. Air Conditioners, Fridges, Compressors, borehole pumps etc.
  3. A generator should not run at more than 80% load for prolonged periods, this is to prolong the life of the generator and decrease maintenance costs.
  4. A generator should not run at less than 60% load for prolonged periods, this is to prevent diesel engines from Glazing that could result in engine failure.
  5. Sometimes running the whole home / business is not cost effective; consider what your essentials are during a power outage.
  6. A load test should be performed by a qualified electrician to get the required kVA rating, to allow for sizing to be done correctly first time.

Location of Your Generator

  1. Generators produce poisonous gases which need to be expelled outdoors, hence they should be installed outdoors, under a roof, or in a room with good ventilation.
  2. A generator needs to have a good airflow to ensure it does not over heat, hence the roof should not be too low and the area should be ventilated.
  3. A generator needs to be maintained and therefore needs at least 1 meter on each side for access to the generator for servicing.
  4. The generator should be positioned close to the distribution board to cut installation costs, with relation to cable costs.
  5. Do you require a silent generator? Consider if your neighbors or surrounding occupants will be affected by noise. If so then a silent generator is essential.

Maintenance, Warranty and Spares

  1. A generator like a motor vehicle needs to be serviced regularly to prolong its life. The first service after 20 Hours and every 100 Hours thereafter.
  2. Only qualified technician should perform services to ensure the integrity and life span of your investment.
  3. Does the generator you are purchasing come with an effective warranty that will be honored should you have a problem?
  4. Are spares for the generator readily available, and are qualified technicians available to fit the respective parts?